Discover The Secrets Behind The Care Of Singapore’s National Collection

Discover The Secrets Behind The Care Of Singapore's National Collection
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Get a glimpse behind the scenes of the caring of Singapore’s National Collection at The World of Heritage Conservation: Sneak Peeks into Safeguarding Singapore’s National Collection. This is the 13th and the latest addition to the National Heritage Board’s ongoing Heritage on the Move series of travelling exhibitions.


Singapore’s National Collection at The World of Heritage Conservation

Singapore’s National Collection at The World of Heritage Conservation

This exhibition brings visitors into the often unseen world of the conservators at the Heritage Conservation Centre who care for valuable treasures and artefacts. The exhibition features case studies of how items in the National Collection are conserved in four fields: paintings, textiles, objects and paper.

HCC’s conservators


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The exhibition also showcases four of HCC’s conservators, each specialising in one of the four conservation fields. In the exhibition, the conservators demonstrate the process of interventive and preventive work on the artwork and artefacts in Singapore’s National Collection through interactive features, videos, displays and tools of trade.


Four highlighted artefacts at The World of Heritage Conservation: Sneak Peeks into Safeguarding Singapore’s National Collection

a toothbrush used by a prisoner of war during the Japanese Occupation

There are four artefacts highlighted in the case studies including a 19th-century painting of an opium clipper at sea against the backdrop of the Singapore waterfront; an orange floral lace cheongsam from the mid-20th century; a toothbrush used by a prisoner of war during the Japanese Occupation; and a panorama of Singapore’s cityscape hand-drawn on paper from memory.

interactive panels

In the exhibition, visitors can see a breakdown of the unique process of restoring each material and the unique factors taken into consideration. Many of the panels are interactive and visitors can touch and move elements to better understand the process of handling rare historical artefacts.

Where to see The World of Heritage Conservation: Sneak Peeks into Safeguarding Singapore’s National Collection

Some interesting things that viewers can look out for include the stories behind each artefact such as the second ‘hidden’ layer of overpaint in the Red Rover off Singapore painting as well as the process of reconstructing the Toothbrush that belonged to former POW Sergeant John Ritchie Johnston

Ms Ong Chiew Yen, the Director of  HCC, said: “We hope that through this exhibition, visitors will gain insights into the craft and efforts of our conservators, which are often unseen by the public, and appreciate their vital role in safeguarding Singapore’s heritage.”


Where to see The World of Heritage Conservation: Sneak Peeks into Safeguarding Singapore’s National Collection

Where to see The World of Heritage Conservation: Sneak Peeks into Safeguarding Singapore’s National Collection

The World of Heritage Conservation: Sneak Peeks into Safeguarding Singapore’s National Collection will be on display at the Central Public Library from now till 30 September, before it travels to different locations across the island. Other locations that this exhibit will be travelling to include:

October 2021: Bishan Public Library
November 2021: Jurong West Public Library
December 2021: Marine Parade Public Library
January 2022: [To be confirmed]
February 2022: Tampines Regional Library

For more information on the travelling exhibition visit the site here.


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